New Delhi: Before the September 30 deadline for the renewal of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the government has revoked the licences of three organisations: Save The Children, Srinivas Malliah Memorial Theatre Crafts Museum, and SEWA, which is involved in animal husbandry, dairying, and fisheries activities in North East Delhi, the Economic Times has reported.
UK-based NGO Save The Children’s India unit Bal Raksha Bharat’s licence has been revoked, the report said.
ET reported that Save The Children disclosed in its audited report filed in March that it had received Rs 163.18 crore in its bank accounts and Rs 66.66 lakh worth of in-kind contributions for the year 2021-22. The prominent child rights group operates in 16 states across India. A senior representative from the organisation confirmed the cancellation of its FCRA licence to the business daily, but did not provide further details.
The second NGO to lose its FCRA licence, Srinivas Malliah Memorial Theatre, was established in the memory of Ullal Srinivas Malliah, a freedom fighter and politician. It focuses on providing training in traditional handicrafts, including puppet making, mask making, bamboo crafts, paper figures, toys, embroidery, tailoring, and needlework.
NGOs holding FCRA licences are required to apply for licence renewal, with the deadline extended to September 30, 2023, following amendments to the FCRA law introduced in September 2020.
Some prominent NGOs had their FCRA licences renewed during this extension period.
According to data from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), there are currently 16,497 active NGOs with FCRA licences in India, and 348 trusts have received fresh registrations in 2023.
The Ministry of Home Affairs grants FCRA licences to NGOs for five years. It evaluates applications based on annual returns and foreign grants received for their intended purposes. Any misuse or diversion of foreign funds by NGOs is considered a violation of the FCRA Act.
Previously, the ministry revoked the FCRA licence of YWCA Delhi, citing fund diversion. The NGO, founded in 1912, operates several working women’s hostels throughout Delhi.